DEAR ABBY: I am almost 22 and become very emotional when I hear about friends who are expecting. All my friends from high school have children. My mother already had two children by the time she was my age.
My boyfriend and I are madly in love; however, he continues to tell me he's not ready to be a parent. We don't take precautions when we have sex, but I haven't become pregnant yet.
Abby, should I be feeling desperate to have a child? Am I rushing parenthood? -- WANTS A BABY NOW
DEAR WANTS: Before you make a mistake that could affect three lives (yours, your boyfriend's and that of an innocent child), I urge you to get to the bottom of what's missing in your life that has made you "desperate" to fill that void with a baby. You have a way to go before you'll be ready to become a mother -- and your first stop along the way should be at the altar.
Parenthood can be rewarding and fulfilling, provided the couple is prepared, emotionally and financially, for the new arrival. But your boyfriend has made it clear that he isn't ready. Please respect that fact and do what is necessary to prevent a "surprise." Having a child because your parents had two at your age, or because your friends from high school have children, is a poor reason to become a parent.